Attorney proposes fire hall renovation

January 06, 1998

Attorney proposes fire hall renovation


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Charles Town attorney presented a plan to renovate an old fire hall on George Street to the Charles Town Council Monday night.

The building is owned by the City of Charles Town, but has been vacant for years and is deteriorating.

Peter Chakmakian will lose his present office space when the St. Margaret's Building on George Street is renovated to become the new magistrate court facility.

Chakmakian said he wants to stay near his present location and the former fire hall is situated between the St. Margaret's Building and Charles Washington Hall.


Chakmakian's proposal calls for restoring the exterior of the building to an earlier appearance and refurbishing the interior. He would lease the building from the city, he said.

He proposes that the heating and air conditioning units be installed in the attic and the second floor be made into offices for himself and his law firm.

Chakmakian said the first floor would be used as a public space, the use of which could be determined by the Charles Town Council.

Chakmakian said he would install an elevator that could be used for people wanting to go to the second floor of the adjoining Charles Washington Hall.

Charles Washington Hall, also owned by the city, currently houses the town offices while renovation work is done on the town hall across the street.

The town's planning and zoning consultant, Annette van Hilst, said Chakmakian's proposal presented a wonderful opportunity to Charles Town officials, who have sought ways to improve the downtown.

Renovations of St. Margaret's Building, the fire hall and the Charles Washington Hall's exterior would completely restore the block across the street from the Jefferson County Courthouse, she said.

"It'll be the beginning of let us call it a renaissance of downtown Charles Town," van Hilst said.

Town council members decided to refer Chakmakian's request to the Charles Town Building Commission for further review.

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